It’s a blockbuster day for new home video releases. We have Oscar winners, Oscar nominees, the comeback of Kirsten Dunst, a Three Musketeers reimagining, Charlize Theron as you’ve never seen her before and the sequel to the film that introduced us to penguins that like to boogie.
The Descendants: George Clooney stars as a father to two girls whose wife has a water skiing accident and winds up in a life-threatening coma. Soon after, he learns she has been cheating. The film earned Clooney an Oscar nod for Best Actor and won the screenwriting team led by director Alexander Payne an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. It is a dazzling film, packed with gorgeous scenery, astounding acting and a story that will leave you yearning for more. The extras are terrific, especially the features Everybody Loves George, The Real Descendants and music videos bringing to life the fantastic Hawaiian music of the soundtrack.
The Adventures of Tintin: A double barreled filmmaker tandem of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson combine forces to bring the iconic character of Tintin to life. Spielberg directs while Jackson produces in the filmmakers’ first effort at stop motion filmmaking. They triumph in every way. Extras abound including The Journey of Tintin, The World of Tintin and our favorite… a look at Tintin’s dog Snowy in Snowy: From Beginning to End.
My Week with Marilyn: Michelle Williams set the bar for portraying Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn and earned an Oscar nomination in the process. Kenneth Branagh also scored an Academy Award nomination for his role as Laurence Olivier. Bonus features are sparse, but the documentary The Untold Story of an American Icon is quite good.
Melancholia: Kirsten Dunst scored a huge career resurgence with her role in this wildly original story from director Lars von Trier. The film’s cast doesn’t disappoint either with Alexander Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgard and Kiefer Sutherland all dazzling in their roles. The story of the end of the world should reach those audiences that missed it on the big screen.
The Three Musketeers: Paul W.S. Anderson and his wife Milla Jovovich decided to bring back The Three Musketeers for a new generation. It mostly misses more than hits, but it is always good fun to watch Christoph Waltz do his bad guy thing. There’s plenty of swashbuckling action, but the plot suffers under way too much weight of exposition.
Young Adult: Charlize Theron deserved an Oscar nod for her portrayal of an extremely shallow Young Adult writer who returns home to her small town with one mission: To steal her high school boyfriend away from his new baby and wife. Yes, she’s not the most redeemable character, but in Theron’s hands, it is a marvel to watch. The film deserved a wider audience than it got with a late 2011 release, and hopefully audiences will flock to it on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Happy Feet Two: The penguins are dancing again! This time out, Elijah Wood and Robin Williams are joined by Sofia Vergara, Pink, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon (the latter pair steals the entire movie). The songs are great. The message is fantastic. Kids will adore it and therefore it’s a family movie must-see.